Question about General Electric Microwave Oven

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Blows the powerstrip

I have a GE microwave oven that suddenly began to trip the powerstrip. It started after I ran it for about 20 minutes. It fried the powerstrip and the GE cord was hot to the touch. Anyway, I got a new powerstrip but the microwave trips that one, too; but didn't fry it yet. We've avoided using the microwave for more than a minute at a time, but it's frustrating because I rely on it. Anyway, do you have a clue about whether it's a problem with the wiring in the house or whether there's something wrong with the microwave? It's about 5 years old. The house is 60 years old! I don't mind buying a new microwave to be safe, but I don't want to throw it out if that's not the problem. Thanks for any advice.

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  • miri62026 May 27, 2009

    I use the powerstrip FOR safety. I didn't know that it's a fire hazard. How so?



    It the microwave trips the powerstrip, then won't it will fry the electrical outlet, too, if there's something wrong with it? This is an old house and doesn't have grounded outlets, although there's an updated circuit breaker board in the basement.



    I've always used a powerstrip with this microwave. It began to blow the strip only recently. The only thing different is that I have a small tv and electronic antenna attached to the same power strip. Do they use enough power to cause this problem, even though the tv's not on?

  • miri62026 May 27, 2009

    Thanks. But I'm confused as to why this happens now, after the one time that I used the microwave for 20 minutes straight, without the TV on.



    Do you think the microwave is okay and it's simply a matter of overloading that circuit,



    or do you think there's a short in it and I ought to replace it with a lower-power model?



    It's GE model JES1656, but I can't find anywhere that says the wattage, and I don't remember what it is.

  • miri62026 May 27, 2009

    This is the third power strip I tried. The last one is a heavy duty, metal brand with a surge protector. Would they all be bad or is the microwave just pulling too much power, meaning maybe there's a short or something else that suddenly went wrong? Thanks for your help. As you can see, I don't know much about electricity or electronics. I just want to be safe and not have to buy a new microwave unless it's necessary.

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Hello. I can help you. Let me review some info. about microwaves.

First of all, a microwave requires a lot of power. Most microwaves must have their own circuit to work well for a long time. Do not use any powerstrip or other extension cord, always plug a microwave directly into the wall.

The problems you are having are most likely due to your powerstrip than to your home wiring.

Plug your microwave directly into the wall and use it. If it works then discard the powerstrip as it is a fire hazard. get back and let me know how u make out.

Posted on May 27, 2009

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  • Joe Hogan May 27, 2009

    Actually any firefighter will tell you that ANY extension cord, powerstrip or not is a fire hazard. You have not indicated how many watts your microwave is but lets say it is 1200 watts, the most common size. 1200 watts is equal to 12 amps. Chances are the circuits in your house are 15 amps. What this all means is that the microwave alone is using about 80% of the power available in that circuit which is about the most use you want to put on a circuit.



    You have other things plugged in to the power strip, all of which draw watts, and amps. Not as much when turned off of course as when in use. A power strip might cost five dollars and a circuit breaker might cost 25 dollars. They both have a circuit breaker function. Soooooooo when you use the power strip, you are using a cheap little circuit breaker that will only take a little wear and tear.



    Back to your question. If you are using the TV and the antenna and the microwave all at once you are pushing the limit of power available thru the powerstrip and it will most likely kick on you.

  • Joe Hogan May 27, 2009

    I think your microwave is fine and that your power strip is bad

  • Joe Hogan May 27, 2009

    Hello again. Have you tried plugging your microwave directly into the wall outlet? If it works when plugged in directly then the microwave is fine and the problem is your power strip or the combination of items you have plugged into the power strip.



    if the microwave doesn't work when plugged directly into the wall outlet then the problem is your microwave.





    You should determine the wattage draw of your microwave. If it is 1000 watts, then the draw is 10 amps. In otherwords, divide wattage by 100 to get amperage.



    Next determine the amperage of your power strip. Genereally, it will be some where on the power strip, usually on the bottom.



    If your microwave is lets say 15 amps and your powerstrip is 12 amps the result will be the problems you have been experiencing.

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